I'm choosing mine more carefully these days.
The words you choose can either uplift you or limit you, and it's important to notice what you're telling yourself.
Start paying attention.
Do you refer to yourself as stupid, lazy, bad, or fat (or even forgetful, tired, undisciplined or flabby)? Do you identify with depression, anxiety, bi-polar or other labels assigned to you by yourself or others?
I have good news! These labels aren't you (unless you're attached to them).
A few months back a friend of mine said she "had to work out because she'd been bad and missed a few days." I cringed as I heard her words for two reasons:
This was a huge wake up call for me.
I'd berated and belittled myself for too long, wholeheartedly believing the lies and labels I'd been assigned. I was repeatedly reinforcing the negative (or limiting) messages I'd accepted as truth. Although aware my kids heard my negative self-talk, I hoped somehow they'd "know better" than to absorb it and apply it to themselves. YIKES!
I have to admit, waking up to the truth of my habits has been both humbling and heartbreaking.
Have I taught my kids they aren't enough? OH MY GOD! If I did, it wasn't deliberate, but it had to stop immediately.
This is the reason I make the conscious choice, every day, to watch my words.
When I catch myself thinking or saying anything that doesn't align with the love I know I am
(is somehow degrading or limiting), I reverse the message right away...and I say the new statement out loud. A few examples:
"How could I be so blind" becomes, "I'm not blind, I just didn't see it before."
"I'm depressed" becomes, "I'm not depressed, I just feel sad (lonely, angry, tired) because...,
but everything is okay. It's only a feeling, and it has a message. I will find it, and it will pass."
"I was bad and ate a piece of cheesecake" becomes, "I wanted something sweet, chose the cheesecake, and it was great" or "I ate the cheesecake because I was feeling lonely, and now I don't feel good. Next time I'm feeling lonely, I'll take a walk."
We can rearrange our words and thoughts to serve us, instead of running us on the hamster wheel of misery.
I once believed I was my depression, and I never failed to reinforce this belief by becoming depressed or defending my right to be depressed.
Once I decided all of my feelings were normal and valid, I stopped fighting them and started validating myself instead. I tried out new messages like:
Creating empowering messages can be life changing.
Give it a try! Decide on your message. Write it down. Say it several times a day, morning, noon, and night. Breathe it in. Feel it changing you from inside. Own it, and you will become it.
Do you really want to keep buying into those old, worn out messages keeping you stuck in the past and afraid of your future? Me either!
You are the only one who can unlock your life.
Here's the key.
For a long time I included it among other "four letter words" I had trouble integrating including safety, love and acceptance.
I tried getting those things from other people because I wasn't willing to give them to myself. (Willing is the operative word here.)
I've seen many mental health professionals over the years, and the best ones were invested in building my self-confidence. A handful told me I already had everything I needed within me to heal.
It's the secret few professionals tell you (maybe because they don't know it yet themselves).
We end up depressed and hopeless because we disconnect from our power and the truth of who we really are.
As a result, we end up feeling lost, alone, and dead inside. We stop trusting ourselves.
I watched both of my sisters detach from themselves and the world around them. The downward spiral was unnerving, and I felt helpless in my efforts to offer strength and hope.
It took losing them BOTH to wake me out of my own complacency.
I had to finally accept my past, become aware of how it shaped my life, and choose how I wanted to live going forward.
I could've easily followed in their footsteps.
As the youngest I'd always looked up to my sisters, and losing them almost broke me.
It was easy for me to slip into the helplessness of depression, because I already knew it so intimately.
But I made a choice to love myself more. A choice to stay and create a brand new life.
I know now I can trust my inner guidance, because It has never lied.
I only fought it because I'd learned to listen to the outside voices rather than the quiet one within. Once I realized the truth of this power, I never looked back.
Slow down, get quiet, and listen to your inner voice.
It is life.
It is love.
It is wisdom.
It is waiting.
R Jade McAuliffe-
Author, coach, mom and poet; believer in things unseen.
"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break."